Dateline 11 November 2014

Full-frame below £1000

Peter Flower

In Newsletter 57 of 6th January 2014 there was a prediction that a sub-£1000 full-frame DSLR or CSC camera (SLR-style) would make an appearance within the year. This is now fact. It has not come about with a new camera release, but has happened because of competitive pricing on an existing model. The Sony Alpha 7 with 24 megapixel sensor was already the cheapest SLR-style camera in this sector. It is in direct competition with the newly-released Nikon D750 which has the same sensor. The Nikon has a typical street price of £1799 body only (Park Cameras and Wex Photographic) or £2349 with a 24-120mm f/4.0G ED VR lens. However, a web site company called Panamoz is listing it at a body only price of £1300, with 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 G ED VR lens kit £1590, or with 24-120mm f/4.0G ED VR lens £1751.

More significantly, the same company is listing the Sony A7 at a body only price of £835. The price complete with 28-70mm kit lens is £955. This includes a free 3 year UK warranty, 14 day money back guarantee, free express shipping with full insurance and delivery in 4 to 6 days.

 

Notes: There may be some prices at around the £1000 mark for the Nikon D600. This was introduced in September 2012 and has since been replaced by the D610 (October 2013).

The prices are correct at 24 October 2014 – it has been noted that they can be subject to fluctuations on a short timescale

 

First Internal Print Competition – 29 September 2014

PF

We do not normally report on either print or PDI competitions. However, a few general comments are appropriate in this case. This was judged by Graeme Wales LRPS. Don Morley, who was doing the introduction on the evening, reminded us at the end that Graeme was a new judge on the SPA circuit and that this was in fact his very first event of this nature. There must have been some nervousness involved, but Graeme carried out the judging process without this being evident.

The other noticeable feature of the competition was the very high standard of entries in all three classes. I did not envy the task of sorting out the top-marked prints in each case. The variety of subject matter was a factor that made it very difficult to favour one image over another. The other significant feature of the event was the incidence of new names cropping up in the top markings. It is very encouraging to see so many new faces attending the meetings, but also taking part so effectively in competitions such as this.

 

Additional notes on the 1 September meeting

PF

Due to timing problems we were unable to include images from Lester Hicks and Jose Vazquez in our earlier report. These are now included below.

Lester's images from his talk show older rocks sitting on younger ones, contrary to the normal expectation, (i.e. very old rocks sitting on slightly less old rocks – but we are still talking of over 1000 million years here!).

 

  1. Moine thrust at Knockan Crag – pre-Cumbrian schists above Cambrian Durness limestone.

  2. Lewisian gneiss erratic on Torridon Sandstone.

 

Jose's pictures were part of a selection that illustrated his progress from early days with a simple camera up to the present time.

 You've Taken the Picture-Now what? - 6 October 2014 - Darren Pullman

Report by Stephen Hewes

How many times have we each taken a shot of something that has caught our attention only to find the image is let down by a non-descript sky, or in our haste has a wonky horizon, or has simply turned out as flat as a pancake. This highly informative talk on post-processing by Darren Pullman had answers for all these issues and many more, and in doing so provided guidance on how to turn the mediocre into excellent.

The first half of Darren’s presentation considered specific actions that one can take to improve an image. Starting with flipping and rotating images, he showed ‘before’ and ‘after’ examples of the functionality available in post-processing software. One abstract image of Darren’s Ka became 16 through a combination of flips and rotations. The Ka reappeared later to demonstrate the various impacts of different filters has on a diverse colour palette when the final image is viewed as a black and white image.

Rather than present step by step the individual mouse clicks required only to lose those in the audience who may use alternative software, Darren encouraged us to research the functionality for our own particular software. This also enabled a lot more ground to be covered on the evening, with the talk supported by a useful handout.

I particularly liked the tip of determining the amount of rotation required by drawing in a line on what should be a horizontal or a vertical and then looking at its properties to see how many degrees out of true the image is – much more efficient than my current trial and error approach!

Other issues like chromatic aberration were also swiftly addressed before moving onto the meaning of curves. After explaining how to control contrast, Darren illustrated a use for a curve breaking with convention and running from top-left to bottom-right.

The second half of Darren’s talk illustrated the use of layers in managing multiple actions, often with the use of masks to affect changes on specifically chosen areas of an image. A couple of ‘before’ and ‘after’ images are shown below:

 

It was good to see a local landmark, the windmill on Reigate Heath, being used as an example to illustrate the use of layers. Here an upwards shot taken to avoid the clutter at ground level had resulted in featureless sky and chromatic aberration. Darren took us through the purpose of each editing layer until the final image was revealed.

 

 

Hand held’ was a fascinating example of a composite image with numerous layers being used to create the transparency of the i-phone and the smaller details such as the shadows under the icons. Darren’s attention to detail and the work involved in creating this image was very impressive, notably in the accuracy of the layer masks.

All in all this was a very informative evening, and very much more rewarding than trying to learn new techniques from a book!

Darren’s website can be found at http://www.pullmanphotography.co.uk.

 

Street Photography – 20th October 2014 - Trevor Gellard FRPS

Report by Les Dyson

Trevor Gellard is a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society. He is a judge and a lecturer to camera clubs. He is Chairman of the L Distinctions Panel and a panel member on the Visual Arts Panel at the Royal Photographic Society. Trevor has exhibited at International Exhibitions, and has had several one man exhibitions. He is an active member of the Brighton and Hove Camera Club and also a member of the London Salon.

He told us that his subject ‘Street Photography’ is a passion. It is one he is able to indulge to excellent effect in his home town of Brighton. In many of the prints he showed us, Brighton provides the background, the people, the parades, the pier, the protests and the incidents. I think it was Keith Waterhouse who once described Brighton ‘as looking like a town that’s helping police with their enquiries’, and Trevor just walks by, with his camera mostly at waist level, presses the shutter release and walks back and does it again. He says he has had a fair share of warnings, but his images are real, with real people doing things that real people do.

Many of his prints are in black and white, taken with available light, and he started his photography using print film and transparencies, developing his images and using his dark room skills to create the final print. He has continued his photography using digital technology to take and improve his images. He said that he is not just a photographer, but an image maker. He illustrated this with a print of his subject blowing bubbles…and in this case a few more bubbles than she actually blew!

I’ll just recap on some of the images we were shown. In fact having begun by telling us we would be seeing images from mostly around the Brighton area, he took us immediately to Cadiz in Andalusia where he showed us how you can be surprised when you actually see all of the elements in the print of the subject that you have taken.

Then there were shots from Hong Kong which Trevor had used in his RPS Associate Panel. These included press photographers waiting for a politician being interested in why they were the subject of another photographer.

We were returned to England with Covent Garden and Soho as the background providing entertainment and more ‘shopping’. But not the average sort of Mall Shops.

Most of the prints we were shown were printed on matte paper, some on semi-matte, giving strong images without reflection, and in Trevor’s Wimbledon shot, where he saw no tennis, just umbrellas in the rain, the mount was tailored to the pattern of the brollies.

As an avid user of coffee shops myself, I was particularly interested in Trevor’s similar affliction where he sits poised with coffee and camera. In many cases with a fisheye lens (on the camera) and waits for the world to pass him by, recording the curious and artistic with equal enthusiasm. Differential focusing adding interest and reality as appropriate. He describes his technique as knowing the rules and when to break them.

We were shown ‘The Angel of the South’ which included a large kite and a windsock!

Many of Trevor’s images featured the parades and demonstrations that are a part of Brighton life. In one image Trevor took an image of a police thin blue line at some demonstration, and the police photographer in the line is returning the compliment. Later, at a presentation to Worthing Camera Club a member of the audience informed Trevor that he was that police photographer. Trevor’s ability to get involved has resulted in a police horse standing on his toe, and he has used his bus pass as a press card, and has been offered a tent to share the accommodation with the homeless in Preston Park. I think the price of the tent offered was £5000! So maybe his going undercover needs some more work.

Trevor’s Fellowship panel was simply called ‘Between the Piers’ and featured just that, images taken between the Brighton Piers. Some areas of the images were desaturated leaving just a small area of colour within the print, such as the blue car moving between two items of fast food. (Don’t ask, you needed to be there).

Some of the earlier shots we were shown in black and white, were reshown later in colour, as Trevor reiterated that the black and white gave stronger more atmospheric interpretations of the intended subject. The hoop trick on the pier and the circus ringside were good examples of the strength of the black and white images.

Where Trevor used Photoshop to add interest was well illustrated with Battersea Power Station in the mist adding an impressionist quality to the scene looking across the railway tracks from Victoria. Another example was the tennis match without Health and Safety, where a montage of the crowd lost all the aisles and emergency exits to good effect. And to enliven a game of bowls a ‘few’ more woods were added!

The pink flamingos for sale in the Army Surplus Store and the ‘walkies’ with a pony and dog for comparison help to emphasise having your camera with you ensures you can take the picture when you see it. Not unlike the non-pc participant in the naked bike ride in Brighton, who to the consternation of the lady PC, who was on her bike, and in uniform, and was about to remind him that participants were supposed to actually have a bike to ride. Maybe Keith Waterhouse had a point…

Thanks to Trevor for his amusing and distinctive observations on the street.

Some of Trevor's images are shown below.

All photographs in this article © copyright of Trevor Gellard

 

A Brief History of Photography – 27 October 2014

Report by Peter Flower

This was a two-part talk. The first half was

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Victorian Photography by John Hill

The history of photography has roots dating back to the principle of the camera obscura (which had previously been used by artists to obtain accurate dimensions and perspective in their pictures) and the observation that some substances are visibly altered by exposure to light. There are many claims for 'firsts' dating back to around 1800 when Thomas Wedgwood made the first reliably documented although unsuccessful attempt to combine these techniques to provide some form of permanent image. In the mid-1820s, Nicéphore Niépce succeeded, but several days of exposure in the camera were required and the earliest results were very crude.

John 's talk started by concentrating on what is regarded as the earliest successful photographic process introduced by Niépce's associate, Louis Daguerre. He developed the Daguerreotype process. This was the first publicly announced photographic process, which required only (!) minutes of exposure in the camera and produced clear, finely detailed results. It was commercially introduced in 1839, a date generally accepted as the birth year of practical photography.

The daguerreotype process was very different to the modern one using film or glass plates. The plate was made by exposing a silver-plated copper sheet to the vapour made by iodine crystals. The latent image was developed using the vapour given off by heated mercury. (Exposure to mercury vapour was hazardous – a process also used in felt hat-making – hence the expression 'As mad as a hatter!') The result was an image that was both reversed, and had to be lit at a certain angle so that the smooth parts of the mirror-like picture reflected something dark. The process was still in use by the 1860s, but it was eventually replaced by newer forms of more advanced photography.

John showed several examples of the portraits that were popular in this era. The metal plates needed to be protected and so were mounted in ornate cases, usually of the folding type. These ornate cases provided an appearance of luxury that reflected the expense of the miniature portraits.

John briefly mentioned the competing Fox Talbot calotype paper negative process which was introduced at much the same time. (Refer to the notes below for more details)

He then went on to make brief mention of Ambrotypes which were at the height of their popularity between about 1853 and 1870. They were more popular in America. Like daguerreotypes, ambrotypes were often laterally-reversed and they were also mounted in hinged cases because the image was set onto an emulsion-coated glass. This needed a background behind it, such as black paint or varnish directly applied to the glass, or japanned cardboard (black baked-on lacquer), black velvet, or a black varnished metal mounted behind the glass.

One of the most popular photographic processes was the Tintype which was in use from about 1853 until the 1890s. This was a process that gave more affordable photographs. Although called 'tin' the base medium was in fact thin iron, resulting in the alternative name of ferrotype, especially in the United States. Tintypes do not have a reflective surface and only the earliest ones are found in cases. Their surfaces often show crazing and cracking that is not found in ambrotypes. Tintypes are very similar to ambrotypes except that tintypes had a silver halide emulsion coated onto thin plates of tin or iron and covered with black paint or varnish. John mentioned the fact that these were often used to take pictures of people at leisure in the open (rather than in a studio) by photographers working from a cart in which the tintypes could be processed. The tintype might be handed over whilst still partially wet and it was not unknown for the thumb marks of both the photographer and subject to be evident! John showed a photograph in which a family group appeared with the photgrapher's cart behind them.

 

 

John then went on to mention Union Cases. Unlike the earlier cases for daguerreotypes and ambrotypes, that were often made of wood and then covered in thin leather or other material, these were made from a thermoplastic material. The term 'Union' was coined in 1854 by Samuel Peck who was a daguerreotypist in the United States, and who invented the process of making the early plastic cases. The component materials used, shellac, sawdust, other chemicals and dye for colouring the cases, (which was usually black or brown) were mixed together, heated and moulded under high pressure. Because of the way they were made the cases could show fine, and in some cases, elaborate details.

 

 

Another popular type of portrait photography came in the form of the 'carte de visite'. This was a small photograph which was patented in Paris by photographer André Adolphe Eugène Disdéri in 1854 It was usually made of an albumen print, which was a thin paper photograph mounted on a thicker paper card. The size of a carte de visite is 2.125” × 3.5” mounted on a card sized 2.5” × 4”. In 1854 Disdéri had also patented a method of taking eight separate negatives on a single plate, which reduced production costs. The carte de visite was slow to gain popularity until 1859, when Disdéri published Emperor Napoleon III's photos in this format. This made the format an overnight success. Each photograph was the size of a visiting card, and such photograph cards were traded among friends and visitors. Albums for the collection and display of cards became a common fixture in Victorian parlors. The immense popularity of these card photographs led to the publication and collection of photographs of prominent persons.

By the early 1870s cartes de visite were supplanted by "cabinet cards," which were also usually albumen prints, but larger, mounted on cardboard backs measuring 4.5” x 6.5”.

Cabinet cards were produced using the same process and still exhibiting the sepia look. Depite the larger image area they did not offer much of a quality difference until the mid-1880s. That is when the effect of new photographic papers and camera improvements really became apparent. John showed an 1897 image of Queen Victoria.

Improvements in photographic materials, shorter exposure times and reduced costs increased the popularity of photography. Although studio portraiture, often with artificial 'outdoor' backdrops, continued there was increasing evidence of genuine outdoor photography taking place. Allied to this was the desire to show off personal pursuits such as cycling. There was also an example of showing off the latest innovations, in this case a lady posing in such a way that her new wrist watch was perfectly obvious to the viewer.

 

 

John also showed a couple of images which were quite amusing. Both were exterior shots with the subject posing against the the wall of a house. The bizarre aspect was the inclusion of a luxurious fur rug that the person was standing on, whilst at the same time waste water downpipes were evident in the background!

John had brought many examples of the various different photographic methods and products that he had discussed. However, perhaps the most intriguing object was a luxuriously bound photographic album featuring Gladstone that had a music box inside.

Whilst you looked at the pictures you could be soothed by a tinkling tune!

 

John has built up an extensive collection of old photographic memorabilia including this very ornate album.

 

 

His ability to show this to us, combined with his extensive knowledge and humorous comments about many aspects of the early history of photography, provided us with an excellent first half to the evening.

 

Notes: As mentioned above, the Daguerreotype had limitations. The image was laterally reversed (left-to-right) as the result of it being created directly by the optical system. Also, the image could not be used to produce additional copies. This was unlike the method used by Fox Talbot, where a negative was created which could subsequently be used to produce a number of identical contact prints. Having said this, the image was potentially sharper than that produced by Fox Talbot's calotype negative and salt print process. Subsequent innovations reduced the required camera exposure time from minutes to seconds and eventually to a small fraction of a second.

Ironically, an excellent photographic portrait of Fox Talbot exists, taken by Antoine Claudet circa 1844 on daguerreotype!

It is always dangerous to claim anything as a 'first' but the following two examples are widely regarded as being that.

Nicéphore Niépce's earliest surviving camera photograph, 1826 or 1827: View from the Window at Le Gras (Saint-Loup-de-Varennes, France). It is not immediately obvious but a detailed inspection of the image shows just how long the exposure was. It can be seen that the light from the sun has produced light and shadow on wall surfaces both to the left and right!

 

 

'Boulevard du Temple' is the name of the first ever photograph known to include humans.

Taken in late 1838 by Louis Daguerre in Paris, the photograph had an exposure time of at least 10 minutes - and so while the street was quite busy, virtually no people stayed around long enough to be captured.

 

 

At the end of the meeting Ian Hunt and I were discussing with John the difficulty of viewing daguerreotype images – the viewing angle has to be precise in order for the image to appear as a positive rather than negative one. We also discussed how the image could be photographed in order to reproduce them in books on the subject.

Ian took a photograph of me holding one of the daguerreotypes in its case. Amazingly, the angles were, by sheer fluke, exactly right as can be seen in the following photograph.

PF

 

 

The second half was -

Photography 1900 - 1990 pre-digital by Gerry Stone

Gerry presented the story of the progress of camera development, photographic methods and notable photographers decade by decade. It is not possible to cover all of the information in detail in this report, so it concentrates on the highlights and the trends that he mentioned. Perhaps the most significant was that photography became increasingly available to the amateur rather than being almost exclusively in the hands of professionals with their studio portraits. An example of the sort of camera available was that introduced in 1903 by Gaumont of Paris, their well-designed 'Vest Pocket Camera'.

 

This took 4.5 x 6 cm plates, considered the smallest acceptable size from which a contact print could be made for pasting into an album. It should be stressed that contact printing was the most popular method for producing prints and that enlarging really came into its own when necessitated by smaller film sizes. The Ilford company was formed in 1900 and produced their first camera in 1902. This camera took a 40 exposure cut film with cardboard backing that could only be loaded/unloaded in total darkness. Glass plates were introduced in 1903 with what was then regarded as a very high speed rating of 35 ASA. (Note: ASA equates to ISO, the term we currently use) Bromide paper and film rolls were introduced by Ilford in 1908. In this era photographers made up their own development solutions with chemicals that were available from chemist shops. It should be added that this practice carried on for a long time until concentrated liquid solutions were introduced. Supplies of chemicals and development and printing services were provided by both photographic dealers and chemists. It is interesting to note that it was not unusual for chemist shops to do development services on the premises. Nowadays, with the demise of high street photographic dealers, it is chemists (from Boots on down) that people often go to for photographic processing.

In 1913 Kodak introduced Eastman Portrait film to replace glass plates for professionals. This was the start of a trend to move away from weighty and fragile glass plates, although the transition was not rapid. Studio photographers and the press still relied on large format negatives. An example of a popular camera with press photographers was the Graflex 'Speed Graphic', which first appeared in 1912. (Production of later versions continued until 1973 and it was standard equipment for many American press photographers until the mid-1960s)

 

 

In total contrast to the hefty 'Speed Graphic' Gerry's research revealed details of some very early 35mm film cameras. Oskar Barnak is often thought of as the originator, but Gerry mentioned two earlier ones. In 1912 George P Smith of Missouri produced a 35mm camera which took 1 x 1.5 inch pictures on cine-film. In 1914 Levy-Both of Berlin produced a ‘Minnograph’ camera taking 50 pictures 18 x 24 mm on 35mm cine-film. The external dimensions were very similar to the ‘Leica’ developed by Oskar Barnack in Wetzlar. Due to the War the ‘Leica’ would not be produced for another 10 years.

Ilford introduced their first daylight loading roll film in 1915. Ilford followed this with their MQ developers in the 1920’s; also their ‘Ultra-Rapid’ roll film in 1924 (28 ASA).The first Rolleiflex was introduced in 1929 after three years of development and was the first medium format roll-film camera. It was a twin-lens Reflex camera. Unlike the more modern versions which use conventional 120 roll film this used the unpopular 117 film. The Rolleiflex became the camera of choice for press photographers, replacing the Speed Graphic and similar cameras, until 35mm ones became dominant. The following images show the original compared to a more modern model.

As the years progressed faster films and new developers were introduced by Ilford and other makers. Orthochromatic films were eventually replaced by panchromatic ones, giving more realistic tone values of different colours in monochrome images. Various different colour film processes had been available from the very early years of photography but the introduction of Kodachrome in 1935, initially for cine use, popularised this. Kodachrome used a process that was unique to them which resulted in excellent archival properties. Other companies, including Ilford who introduced their colour film in 1948, used different processes. However, they shared the very slow exposure rating of 10 ASA. (It is difficult to conceive the use of such slow speed film in relatively modern photography - most digital cameras work at 100 ISO upwards – but having used such film myself I can confirm that it was possible) In more recent times monochrome films adopted the chromogenic formula that was used for colour negative films. Examples were the Ilford XP1 and XP2 films.

Mention of colour negative films reminded us of the fact that the majority of colour prints had to be made from these. Quite apart from the added complexity of controlling the print exposure with filters as well as timing there was the nuisance value of having to carry two cameras if monochrome and colour photographs were required on an outing. Many photographers wanted to capture the colour of scenes on transparencies. This problem was overcome when Ilford introduced their Cibachrome print paper in the 60s enabling colour prints to be made directly from transparencies.

Gerry discussed the problems of producing prints in the darkroom. For much of the time different grades of paper was used in the enlargement process to compensate for negative density or to achieve a different look in the finished print. In more recent times the task had been made easier by the introduction of Ilford Multigrade paper. A number of filters were available that caused the paper to act as different grades. However, there was still the need to make test strips, experiment with dodging and burning and enlarger exposure timing. There was the added concern of making detailed notes of the procedure at the time if further copies of the image were needed. (It is little wonder that although Gerry still uses a Hasselblad camera with film for his serious photography he has the negatives scanned and uses the 'digital light room' for his prints!)

The following image shows an example of the notes that might be made -

Gerry showed many images of different camera models over this period. In the case of more recent years some of them were cameras that he had owned as his photography progressed. A sample set from the 60s is shown below.

 

Although digital photography techniques have almost totally taken over there is now a resurgence of interest in the old processes. Conventional film photography still tends to be an element in higher education photography tuition. Films and processing services remain readily available and plenty of cheap camera equipment for anyone who wants to experiment with 'conventional' photography. Throw-away cameras can still be seen on the shelves, so there is obviously still a market (probably small) for them despite the popularity of photography with smartphones.

To sum up, this was a very interesting trip back into the history of photography in the 1900s. Of necessity it could only touch on a limited number of the key points in the changes and advances made in that time. However, it was a useful reminder of the changes that took place and, for many of us perhaps, the trigger for a nostalgic trip down memory lane.

Just a few images from Gerry's talk are shown below.

I finish the report with an image from an event many years ago. It shows a presentation being made to Gerry by Reg Seale (sadly no longer with us) who was Chairman at the time. To the right of the picture is a young-looking Steve Lawrenson.

 

 

Annual Exhibition – 1 November 2014

Report by Peter Flower

The exhibition was once again set up in the Clarke Hall of the Reigate Community Centre. This is a splendid location due to its high ceiling and large windows which provide excellent lighting for all the pictures on display. There was the added bonus of bright weather conditions which enhanced this.

With the benefit of additional large panels loaned from the YMCA it had been possible to set out the displays in an attractive way. Credit for the detailed layout of this must go to Carol and Lester Hicks and Steve Lawrenson who had spent time planning this in advance. Thanks must also go to those members, too numerous to mention, who assisted in the set-up beforehand and stewarding during the day.

 

Although the exhibition was only open for one day, between 10am and 4pm, there were a pleasing number of visitors. I would judge that this was one of the best-attended exhibitions in recent years. Although we do not record numbers it is likely that at least 150 people visited during the day. To some extent this might have been influenced by the craft fair that was taking place in the Hub cafe at the same time. However, a more significant factor that I observed was the degree of interest shown by those who did attend. There was a great deal of interaction between visitors and our members who were stewarding. Many asked about details of our society and there is a chance that some of the interest expressed may result in prospective new members. In addition to the prints there was a constant display of digital images on a televison set. Some people also sat down to view these but this form of presentation does not lend itself to the same random browsing as there is with the prints.

We asked all of those attending to vote for their favourite print. This was a somewhat daunting task for them, faced with such a large number of images to choose from. Not everyone took part in this but 141 votes were handed in. Voters included every age group, from the elderly down to some very young enthusiastic children, one of whom had to be helped with writing the numbers! There was a great deal of interest in the outcome and a query if we would publish the results. They were assured that this would be done and details were given of our web site. As promised, the winning details and images are shown below.

Summing up, this was a very successful event. The quality of images was high and the interest of visitors was rewarding for the members whose photographs were exhibited. Our thanks to all of those who were involved in setting up the exhibition and to all of the visitors who attended.

The public vote results are as follows:

 

Winner – Two's Company by Carol Hicks

Second – Red Spiders On The Move by Carol Hicks

Third – Eco-warrior by Les Dyson

 

Panel Competition – 3 November 2014

Report by Peter Flower

This event was overseen by Modesto Vega who had been responsible for checking on the entries and introducing them on the evening. The concept was to submit a panel, either as prints or as PDIs, each composed of three photographs. Members who submitted panels were encouraged to make brief comments about the subject matter. Judging was done by the members at the end of each session, the PDIs in the first half and then the print panels after the refreshment break. Marks could be given on the basis of 3,2 and 1, with 3 for the favourite panel and so on. There were over 20 panels submitted in the PDI section which made it difficult to decide on the favourites. The lower number of print panels made the task much easier. However, the variety of imagery and involvement of all the members in the judging process made this a very pleasurable evening.

The winning panels are shown below.

Stephen Hughes - digital projection winner

 

Busy Bees by Carol Hicks - print panel winner

 

London – Brighton Veteran Car Run

 

Unofficial Surrey Mirror staff photographer (!), Ian Hunt, had some of his photographs of this event published in the 6 November edition. Two are reproduced below, the first showing celebrity chef Paul Hollywood, of Great British Bake Off fame, and the second showing competitors battling with the torrential downpour that affected later runners.

 Polaroid revived

Techman

The Polaroid Socialmatic was first announced a while ago but is still in development and expected to ship sometime later this year. However, at the Polaroid stand at Photokina visitors were able to get their hands on a few prototypes and play with the unique device.

The Socialmatic combines a 14MP camera, an Android smart device and a Polaroid Zero Ink technology printer in a fairly bulky case that is somewhat reminiscent of the Polaroid Instant cameras from the past. There is also a 2MP rear camera for selfies, an LED flash, a 4.5-inch touch screen, stereo speakers and 4GB of built-in memory that can be expanded via a microSD slot. The device offers a GPS sensor and Bluetooth. It connects to the Internet via a Wi-Fi module but there is no GSM capability.

On the touchscreen you control an Android operating system that looks just like that on your phone. Images can be edited and adorned with stickers or frames before printing them in 2 x 3-inch format on the built-in Zero Ink printer. Prints are smudge-proof, water resistant and tear resistant. The Socialmatic camera is scheduled to be available before the end of the year for 299 US dollars. A pack of 50 sheets for printing will cost another 20 dollars.

The following images of prototypes give some impression of the appearance and size compared with a model from the past.

Leica X ' Edition Moncler'

Techman

There have been many fairly tacky limited and special edition cameras issued by some manufacturers over the years (step forward Hasselblad! - see note below) but these could be put in the shade by the latest offering from Leica.

 

 

The official blurb for this camera was somewhat confusing. On the one hand the leather trim in blue, white and red is reminiscent of the French flag and yet the special edition was developed in collaboration with Italian fashion label Moncler. It was not until checking with Wikipedia that the reasoning became clear. Moncler is a French-Italian apparel manufacturer founded by a Frenchman but bought by an Italian entrepreneur.

The camera case, a padded white pouch, emulates the world-famous look of Moncler down jackets. The matching carrying strap in genuine leather bears the inscription ‘Leica & Moncler’.

Thankfully only 1500 will be produced. The UK price is £1950 or more, dependent on source, which is an extra £400 over the current Leica X (113) price at Park Cameras.

Note: Hasselblad has closed its Treviso design centre in northern Italy. The company known for its professional medium format cameras introduced a number of rebranded Sony cameras aimed at 'amateur photo-enthusiasts who demand the ultimate in both style and performance'. Sony manufactured the internals of the camera parts in Japan whilst Hasselblad designers equipped the outside with their signature style, including hand crafted wood and high quality materials. Adding Hasselblad’s name to the cameras steeply increased their prices. As an example, Sony’s a99 DSLR was 'upgraded' to the Hasselblad HV; they were internally identical, but the HV body carried a hefty price tag of €8500/$11,500 compared to the a99's body-only price of €2000/$2800 when it was introduced.

We previously reported on the special models in Newsletter No. 58.

 

 

An example - the Hasselblad Stellar, a rebadged Sony RX100 

And finally . . . . .

It seemed very appropriate to close this newsletter with an image from Marion Gatland to remind us of events of 100 years ago.